5th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Step 6: Memorizing Inputs & Outputs (Integration Management Part 1)


1. Introduction

In this next series of posts on memorizing the processes, we move on to the final step 6, which is memorizing the INPUTS & OUTPUTS associated with each of the 47 processes.   In order to breakdown the memorization into more bite-size chunks, I am breaking down the processes in the 10 knowledge areas into 2 or 3 posts each.


2.  Review of Processes, Tools & Techniques in Integration Knowledge Area

Process Name Tools & Techniques Inputs Outputs
4.1 Develop Project Charter 1. Expert judgment

2. Facilitation techniques

1.  Project statement of work (SOW)

2.  Business case

3.  Agreements

4.  EEFs

5.  OPAs

1. Project  Charter
4.2 Develop Project Management Plan 1. Expert judgment

2. Facilitation techniques

1.  Project charter

2.  Outputs from other processes

3.  EEFs

4.  OPAs.

2. Project Management Plan

3.  Outputs of Integration Knowledge Area

Let’s go backwards and start with the Outputs first–they are usually more obvious than the inputs.

a.  Project charter (4.1 Develop Project Charter)

Okay, it should be fairly obvious that the output of the “4.1 Develop Project Charter) process is going to be the “Project charter”.    The project charter is the document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the project.  It documents business needs, assumptions, constraints, and the customer’s needs and high-level requirements.    These collectively can be considered the “high-level boundaries of the project.”

b.  Project management plan (4.2 Develop Project Management Plan)

Likewise, it should be fairly obvious that the output of the “4.2 Develop Project Management Plan” is going to be the “Project Management Plan.”   It consists of

  • all of the management plans from all the other 9 knowledge areas
  • the 3 project baselines (scope, schedule, and cost baselines)
  • subsidiary management plans (requirements management plan, process improvement plan, change management plan, configuration management plan

It is the detailed description of how the plan will be carried through the execution and monitoring & controlling process groups to the end of the project.

4.  Inputs of Integration Knowledge Plan

Okay, now that the outputs are clear from the names of the processes, let’s see if we can look at the inputs for each process.

a.  Project Statement of Work (SOW) (4.1 Develop Project Charter)

The Project Statement of Work, sometimes referred to as an SOW, is the “seed” of the project, and it contains a high-level description of the products or services to be delivered by the project.

b.  Business Case (4.1 Develop Project Charter)

There should be some sort of business need for the product or service, a demand that might be created by one or more of the following factors:

  • Market demand
  • Organizational need
  • Customer request
  • Technological advance
  • Legal or regulatory requirement
  • Social need

The business case ties together the product together with the business need (to show that there is a market for the project) and a cost-benefit analysis (to show that the benefits will outweigh the costs) to show that the results of the project will be aligned with the strategic plan of the company.

c.  Agreements

If the organization is to produce a product for an external customer, than a contract, memorandum of understanding (MOU), or other written agreement is an input to this process.

d.  Environmental Enterprise Factors or EEFs (4.1 Develop Project Charter)

  • Government or industry standards
  • Organizational culture and structure
  • Marketplace conditions

These give the environment in which the project takes place.

e.  Organizational Process Assets or OPAs (4.1 Develop Project Charter)

  • Organizational standard processes, policies, and process definitions
  • Templates (for project charter template)
  • Historical information and lessons learned database

These give the documentation on which the project processes are based.

f.   Project Charter (4.2 Develop Project Management Plan)

This is a typical pattern, where the output of one process (4.1 Develop Project Charter) becomes the input to the next process in the sequence (4.2 Develop Project management Plan)

g.  Outputs from other processes (4.2 Develop Project Management Plan)

Since the Project Management Plan is really not one single plan, but an coordination of all the other management plans throughout the 9 other knowledge areas, it makes sense that one of the inputs is going to be … all the other management plans.  That’s what this input stands for.

h.  Environmental Enterprise Factors or EEFs (4.2 Develop Project Management Plan)

  • Government or industry standards
  • Project management body of knowledge for application area
  • Project management information system (e.g., Microsoft Project, Primavera)
  • Organizational culture
  • Infrastructure
  • Personnel administration

These give the environment in which the project takes place, either those external to the organization (the first two) or those internal to the organization (the last four).

i.  Organizational Process Assets or OPAs (4.1 Develop Project Management Plan)

  • Standardized guidelines, work instructions, proposal evaluation criteria, and performance measurement criteria
  • Project management plan template
  • Change control procedures
  • Project files from previous projects
  • Historical information and lessons learned knowledge base
  • Configuration management knowledge base

These give the documentation on which the project processes are based.   Since the Integration Knowledge Area is where all the changes to the project are managed, the subsidiary plans from the change management plan (change control procedures) and the configuration management plan (configuration management knowledge base) are inputs to this process.

With the inputs and outputs, it is harder to actively memorize them, in the sense of being able to recall a list of them given the name of any particular process.    It is sufficient for the purpose of the PMP certification exam, however, to be able to recognize them passively, so that given a list of 4 possibilities, you can pick the one that most likely applies to any given process.   In order to do this, understanding the purpose of the process, plus the tools & techniques used in this process, should be sufficient.

The next post will cover the next two processes in the Integration Knowledge Area, 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work and 4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work.


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